Greetings everyone, I am sorta on a rant today. After listening to many people post their brick walls and discuss their lost connection, I just am amazed at how many times I hear them say, " I can not find them on the census."
What a shame we had census put on line before land records or tax lists. It seems young, old, new or seasoned researchers are placing way to much faith in Census Records.
1. Census Records may or may not be accurate.
2. We have no idea who gave the information.
3. We do not know if that person really knew the answers to the census's takers questions or guessed.
4. Rethink the census data before you take it for fact.
1. Made by the purchaser. recorded and documented ( though some times years later)
2. Many times says where they are from and whom related to.
3. First hand information.
4. Land records can give you the neighbors whom may have married into the lineage for a name to check. :>)
5. The land record depending on type can tell you more about the person that just who he is.
6. It can tell you if he was in the service of his country.
7. Did the person have a WARRANT or a PATENT?
8. It can give descendants by passing the land down to younger generations.
9. It can some times indicate who is the older or the younger of the children depending on the division of the land.
10. It can also give married names of females for land purposes.
I big difference from census which is so unknown.
So my tip for today is look for a land record to verify the census data. Everyone should have some type of
land records in their files for documentation.
Granted some city dwellers had no land records then you resort to tax lists and school lists, business liscences
and church records.
Look both in the Grantor and Grantee Indexes and read the data on the neighbors for clues for your family.
You may find the boy married the girl next door so you suddenly know have a last name. :>)
Census Records are not that vital if you can not find them if you look at these other items.